The bow-ties came in many colors. The vests were knitted, woven, tailored or covered with sparkles. The shirts were white or striped. The hats were black or blue. Whatever the color combination, all the barbershop chorus singers came with the desire to sing their hearts out and pay tribute to the veterans who were assembled for the annual Veteran's Day concert at Mount Vernon Estate.
Daniel Froggett, executive director for special events, welcomed the crowd and then introduced the Harmony Heritage Singers. Froggett said that every one of the 44 singers who were present had served in some branch of the military.
Chorus Leader Bob Wachter talked briefly about his group, saying that there were originally comprised of nine different barbershop chapters. Now they have been consolidated into one Mount Vernon chapter.
The group sang several favorites, including "My Country 'Tis of Thee," "This Land Is Your Land," "Roll Out the Barrel," "Those Were the Days" and "The House I Live In."
Two quartets entertained with the first one singing "The Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines." Later, another quartet, the Smart Alecs, sang and did a parody on baseball with the song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
Members of all branches of the service who were in the audience were recognized at the end of the concert. Later in the day, guests placed a red carnation inside the gates of Washington's final resting place during a special wreath-laying ceremony sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution.